Alpha Hydroxy Acid
Photo by Tihis — Getty Images

Anti-aging is big business. We all want to live forever or at the very least look younger than we are. As we continue to search for the fountain of youth, there are products and ingredients out there already giving us some help in keeping our skin younger, more supple, and moisturized. One such ingredient popping up is alpha hydroxy acid (AHA”> and one of the simplest and smallest is glycolic acid, which is derived from cane sugar and deeply penetrates the skin.  

What does AHA do to skin?

According to the FDA, “AHA-containing products cause exfoliation, or shedding of the surface skin. The extent of exfoliation depends on the type and concentration of the AHA, its pH, and other ingredients in the product.” They are used in smoothing fine lines and wrinkles, improving skin tone and texture, unblocking and cleansing pores while improving the condition of the skin. They are formulated in multiple skin care products and lately there has been a surge of AHAs in hair care products.

What does it do to hair?

DuPont and the Textile Research Institute (TRI”> in Princeton, New Jersey, conducted several studies in 2009 on the effects of glycolic acid in hair care products. They found AHA can also bring benefits to hair by enhancing the protection and manageability of hair by conditioning, moisturizing, strengthening, and even preventing hair breakage in both healthy and chemically altered (bleached”> hair. Glycolic acid creates a lubricity to hair that allows for easier detangling and even protects the hair against heat styling tools. It also helps restore the strength and elasticity of the strands and another popular AHA found in cosmetics and hair products are citric acid.  AHAs are ideal in shampoos because they strip the hair of the dirt, pollutants, and products without stripping it of the much needed moisture. 

Glycolic acid is not the only AHA found in hair care products, let alone the only acid to help your strands. Lactic acid, another popular AHA for cosmetics, is found in several shampoos for aiding in smoothing dry, scaly hair making it more manageable. AHAs are ideal in shampoos because they strip the hair of the dirt, pollutants, and products without stripping the hair’s moisture.

These popular AHAs can be found in several shampoos and conditioners for cleansing, conditioning, moisturizing, and aiding in detangling. While the name may sound harmful, they are anything but, as they aid in anti-aging, sun protection, and strengthening your strands. Here are a few hair products with the power of AHAs.

Products with AHA

Sabrina Perkins

Sabrina, founder of seriouslynatural.org and contributor to several online publications, is a freelance writer who engages her audiences on the relevance of natural hair, beauty, and style.

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